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Abstract

This paper looks at psychological contracts in small and medium-sized enterprises, an underrepresented topic in the psychological contract literature. Adopting a multi-perspective approach, we explore what employers and young professionals expect regarding their employment obligations. The results of a qualitative research design and interviews conducted in four European countries reveal the importance of competence and performance-enhancing behaviours on one side and support for performance and development, good working conditions, autonomy, flexibility, work–life balance, and relationships on the other. Moreover, we identify what is offered and expected by both members of the dyad and shed light on the changing dynamics of today’s psychological contracts. Our findings hold implications for both employers wishing to retain their best young professionals and individuals interested in understanding what small and medium-sized enterprises are offering prospective candidates.

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